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FAQ: Basic troubleshooting for balance sheets

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Online9Updated 1 week ago

Learn more about the balance sheet troubleshooting for QuickBooks Online.

Balance sheets help you identify how much you own and how much you still owe. Here are some steps to resolve common Balance Sheet issues:

The deleted items on your Balance Sheet are transactions associated with a deleted account. Removing deleted items on your Balance Sheet can be done in three steps:

  • Step 1: Undelete the account.
  • Step 2: Move the Transactions (Option 1) or Delete the Transactions (Option 2).
  • Step 3: Re-delete the account.

Step 1: How to Undelete the account

  1. Go to Bookkeeping and select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Above the Action column, go to Settings ⚙ and select Include inactive.
  3. Find the deleted account, then in the Action column, select Make active.

Step 2: How to move the transactions or delete the transactions (choose one of the two options)

(Option 1) How to move the transactions:

  1. Find the account you just undeleted.
  2. From the Action column dropdown menu, select Edit.
  3. In the Name field, rename the account to match the name of an existing account you want to move the transactions to.
  4. Select Save and Close, then Yes to confirm the merge.

(Option 2) How to delete the transactions:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Find the account you just undeleted, then select Account history.
  3. One at a time, select each transaction in the account, then Delete.

Step 3: How to re-delete the account

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Find the account you just undeleted.
  3. In the Action column, select the dropdown, then choose Delete. This will make the account inactive again and remove it from your Balance Sheet.

The value of the assets should always equal the combined value of the liabilities and equity (Equity = Assets - Liabilities). If your Balance Sheet isn't balancing correctly, you can troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Select each account on the report to see the transactions related to the balance of each account.
  2. You can start running the date range down by starting from year to date (YTD), and narrowing it down each month, until you have the date range narrowed to the day that the balance sheet goes off.
  3. From there, you can start to figure out what transaction is causing the balance sheet to be off and resolve the issue.

If your company's financial year is different than the calendar year, the amounts on both the report and the register may not match because the Balance Sheet is run on a calendar year. You can resolve this issue by doing the following:

  • Option 1: Change the date of the report to match your financial year.
  • Option 2: Change your financial year to match the calendar year.

Option 1: How to change the date of the report

  1. Go to Business overview and select Reports (Take me there).
  2. In the search bar, search for and open the Balance Sheet report.
  3. Select Customise.
  4. Choose the appropriate Report period.
  5. Select Run report.

Option 2: How to change your financial year on the company file

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Account and settings.
  2. Select Advanced.
  3. In the Accounting section, select the edit (pencil) icon.
  4. From First month of income tax year dropdown, choose January.
  5. Select Save and Done.

If your Balance Sheet isn't matching another report and you've checked that all the settings are the same, remember that a Balance Sheet carries a beginning balance and is a cumulative report.

Note: The date range you set only applies to net income.

Example 1: $50 of sales tax in March and $60 in April

  • If you have $50 of sales tax in March and $60 in April, the Balance Sheet will show $110 for the sales tax liability account.
  • If the date range for the report is April, it will still show the cumulative total of $110. However, if you click on the $110, the transaction detail report will show a beginning balance of $50 and then $60 for transactions in April.
  • Additionally, the Sales by Item report will be limited to the date range you set. If you set the report date for April, then it will truly reflect only April and show $60 only.

Example 2: Comparing the Balance Sheet (Last Year/Accrual) to the A/R Ageing Summary or A/R Ageing Detail report

  • When you compare these reports, you must specify the correct Ageing Method on the A/R Ageing Report.
  • If you're running a Balance Sheet for any date in the past, you must select "Report Date" for the Ageing Method on your A/R Ageing report for the Total Accounts Receivable to match on both the Balance Sheet and A/R Ageing reports.

You can customise your Balance Sheet report to show Year-over-Year columns.

  1. Go to Business overview and select Reports (Take me there).
  2. In the search bar, search for and open Balance Sheet Comparison.
  3. Select Customise.
  4. Under Rows/Columns, select the Columns dropdown, then change it to the desired comparison period.

You can show the Location or Class summary columns on your Balance Sheet, and then filter it by Location or Class.

Note: You can't filter by account on a Balance Sheet since it would not balance if certain accounts were excluded.

Things to consider when filtering by Class:

The Balance Sheet by Class report will be incorrect by default since the A/R and A/P accounts will be wrong. For them to be correct, you will need to enter all related transactions as General Journal entries and specify a class on each line.

Unless you're an accountant, this probably isn't the best way to proceed for the following reasons:

Example 1: Every transaction (with the exception of journal entries) is separated into a header and detail portion.

  • On a cheque, the bank account is the header and the account selected in the table is the detail.
  • On an invoice, A/R is the header and the income account linked to your product or service is the detail.

Example 2: The type of transaction information pulled into a report depends on the type of report.

  • The Profit and Loss report pulls information from the detail of transactions, in which income and expense accounts are selected.
  • A Balance Sheet pulls in header portions of the transactions, in which asset, liability, and equity accounts are selected.

Additional information on Class:

  • When classes are used, they get attached to the detail portion of transactions. They don't get associated with the header accounts. So, since a Profit and Loss report pulls information from the transaction detail, it can be customised by Class and be correct.
  • However, a Balance Sheet by Class report will never be correct, since it pulls data from headers. Remember, the class data doesn't get saved with the header.
Note: QuickBooks Online assumes that all data pertains to just one company, so it will always provide just a single Balance Sheet and not one split in Classes.

Things to consider when filtering by Location:

  • If you want to use one company to run different businesses at different locations, you'll want to create a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss report for each.
  • When a location is saved on a transaction, it gets saved on the header and the detail. This makes it possible to run a Balance Sheet by Location report and get correct information.
  • You can also filter your report by location to see the appropriate column for that location.
Note: Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Payroll transactions may have amounts in "Unspecified" because Bill Payment, Receive Payment, and Payroll payment transactions can't be split by locations.

If you have either Bill Payment, Receive Payment, or Payroll transactions that involve multiple locations, the transaction will reflect "Unspecified" and will either need to be split into transactions that only involve one location or correct the location with a journal entry.

You now know the basic troubleshooting steps for Balance Sheet problems.

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